2014 Winter Olympics

by Nathan Hamm on 2/6/2006 · 7 comments

Over the weekend, the New York Times covered the would-be hosts of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

One of the hopefuls is Almaty. Their website is just a pretty picture at the moment, and here’s how the Times handicaps them.

WHAT IT HAS GOING FOR IT Planted high among the frozen peaks of the Tian Shan Mountains about a half-hour from Almaty (www.almaty2014.kz) is Medeo, a huge outdoor speedskating rink that was built in 1972. And though Olympic speedskating must be held indoors (the last time it was outside was in Albertville, France, in 1992), the rink is definitely worth a visit — but don’t forget your scarf.

WHAT IT HAS GOING AGAINST IT It’s a little hard to imagine American companies flying their favorite clients to Kazakhstan.

Almaty will be hosting the 2011 Asian Winter Games and will be pumping $1 billion into the area to develop it in advance of those games.

Georgia’s also trying to score the games, and Borjomi already has a snazzy website that says “The Olympiad will by all means be held in Georgia!” right up at top. Here’s what the Times has to say.

WHAT IT HAS GOING FOR IT This underdog (www.borjomi2014.ge) may have little to distinguish it from the other candidates, but at least you’re not likely to run into a neighbor in the lift line at nearby Bakuriani, the country’s oldest ski area.

WHAT IT HAS GOING AGAINST IT Though there are plans to develop the area, don’t expect to check in to the Borjomi W anytime soon.

Of the remaining cities on the list, there are plenty of the usual suspects–cities one may never have heard of in wealthy countries. I’m sure the odds are long for Almaty and especially for Borjomi, but it would be nice to see the games go to one of the two.


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This post was written by...

– author of 2992 posts on Registan.net.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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{ 5 comments }

Tim Russo February 7, 2006 at 5:15 am

i love borjomi, it’s a beautiful place, they get my vote. i think you’d have to limit the size of the olympic teams to one athlete per country, though.

David L February 7, 2006 at 10:23 am

Kyrgyzstan would be alright then. They are sending just one athlete to the Turin games. But in very Kyrgyz fashion they are sending two officials with them.

But seriously I think Almaty would be great. Its got to be more fun than Salt Lake City?? And quite possibly less corrupt…

Yulianna February 23, 2006 at 12:52 am

Almaty, Kazakhstan, is a very beatiful place, and that would be great if the 2014 Winter Olympic Games will be hosted in Almaty.

Koka & Jana March 1, 2006 at 1:42 am

Well… That’s a pretty challenging issue. Kazakhstan is really willing to host Asian Winter Games in 2011. The capacities of the Republic of Kazakhstan are rather promising. I mean it really does have all chances to host the Games! Let’s give them this chance!!!

Alex April 12, 2006 at 10:15 am

Sofia has tried to host the winter games twice already. Both times we got close, 2nd and 4th place. Bulgaria has many outstanding alpine resorts that are the “the place to be” in winter, so say tourists from all over the world. We certainly have the pride and spirit to host the XXI winter games. It would be a great experience for any athlete to witness the beauty of Bulgaria.

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